Skip to main content
Back to Main Quorn Site
Press releases

Quorn protein builds muscle better than milk protein

3 July 2019

Data presented at the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) conference demonstrates Quorn mycoprotein is a more effective source of protein to support post exercise muscle building compared to some animal proteins.

A study from the University of Exeter has found that Quorn mycoprotein, the protein-rich food source that is unique to Quorn™ products, stimulates post-exercise muscle building to a greater extent than milk protein. The study evaluated the digestion of protein, which allows amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to increase in the bloodstream and then become available for muscle protein building in 20 healthy, trained young men at rest and following a bout of strenuous resistance exercise. The young men performed the exercise and were then given either milk protein or Quorn mycoprotein. Their muscle building rates were then measured using stable isotope labelled ‘tracers’ in the hours following protein consumption. Animal proteins like milk are an excellent source for muscle growth, so they provide a useful comparison for testing other protein sources. The results showed that while those who ingested milk protein increased their muscle building rates by up to 60%, those who had Quorn mycoprotein increased their muscle growth rates (MGRs) by more than double this – showing that Quorn mycoprotein, the main ingredient in all Quorn products, is a more effective source of protein to promote muscle growth.

“These results are very encouraging when we consider the desire of some individuals to choose non-animal derived sources of protein to support muscle mass maintenance or adaptations with training. Our data show that Quorn mycoprotein can stimulate muscles to grow faster in the hours following exercise compared with a typical animal comparator protein (milk protein) – we look forward to seeing whether these mechanistic findings translate to longer term training studies in various populations” said Benjamin Wall, Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology, University of Exeter.

Tim Finnigan, Chief Scientific Adviser for Quorn Foods, said “We’re excited to see this data being presented by the University of Exeter at ECSS. In a world where many people are trying to cut back on their meat consumption, either for environmental or health reasons, we’re happy to be able to offer an alternative protein that can provide exceptional nutrition and muscle growth, all while being meat-free”.

Recent research has suggested that current recommendations for protein intake are too low - some scientists have calculated that minimum protein requirements could have been underestimated by as much as 30-50% in some populations.1

The British Nutrition Foundation already recommends Quorn mycoprotein as a good source of dietary protein, both for everyday life and for sport and exercise. However, in the UK roughly a third of total protein consumption comes from meat products – and increasing meat intake may have serious consequences for public health and for the environment. A pivot to “alternative” sources of protein therefore may be advisable – and Quorn mycoprotein is well placed to fill the gap.

1 Pencharz PB, Elango R, Wolfe RR. Recent developments in understanding protein needs - How much and what kind should we eat? Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2016;41(5):577-80.

For further information:

University of Exeter

Press Office

+44 (0)1392 724828

About the University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university that combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 21,000 students and is in the top one per cent of universities worldwide. Exeter is also ranked 10th in the Guardian University Guide 2020 and 14th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the University ranked 16th nationally, with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality, while in 2017, Exeter was awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment. Exeter was named The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2015-16, in recognition of excellence in performance, education and research. Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13.

The University launched its flagship Global Systems Institute in 2018, a world-class, interdisciplinary community of researchers, students, citizens and partners that will solve global challenges through transformative research and education. This follows recent investments of more than £350 million worth of new facilities across its campuses in recent years; including the Living Systems Institute in 2016 in Exeter, and the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, together with new student services hubs, and new facilities for Biosciences, the Business School and Renewable Energy.